Kobe gets quake-safe hotel

KOBE — A 218-room business hotel fully constructed with quake safety in mind will open Mar. 18 in the Sannomiya district here, becoming the first major hotel to open in Kobe after 1995’s Great Hanshin Earthquake.

Hotel Sunroute Sopra Kobe features an iron frame throughout its 14 floors, making it more quake-resistant than conventional buildings that use iron frames at the base and reinforced concrete for upper levels. Also, a stairwell leading from the hotel’s lobby and party lounge is supported by more columns than those used in stairways in conventional hotels, hotel officials said.

All the guest rooms are equipped with balconies, through which guests can evacuate to the roof in case of emergency, the officials added. The hotel has installed modular jacks in all rooms and ISDN lines across the 12th floor, which is dubbed the “multimedia floor.”